It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
The game tries to sell you the idea that you shoulnd't grind, that gear / level doesn't really matter and that the game starts at level 1, not at endgame. But it's not true, you see:
- My damage almost tripled in WvW going from level 79 to 80 with exotics. Gear and level do make a huge difference in WvW. After experiencing it that way, I almost feel useless when entering with my low level alts. In the top tier of servers, most are 80 now. If you enter there as level 25, you'll get demolished.
- You kill faster and easier with gear in the open world, even when downscaled. At level 70, I had average gear and when downscaled, sure enogh, mobs died faster than when I had the zone's level; however, when I got to 80 and geared myself, then went back to that downscaled zone, mobs died almost twice as fast.
- Dungeons become easier. I played the same dungeon both when I had average gear and then at 80 with exotics, there IS a difference.
- SPvP is truly the only aspect of the game where gear / level doesn't make you more powerful, for obvious reasons.
Now I'm actually thankful that there's some kind of carrot on a stick. I certainly enjoy progression, it's why I play RPGs and not FPS (although even FPS nowadays implement some form of progression). But even though there IS a reason to progress, the game tries to deny it implementing ridiculous mechanics. You can't farm a zone for too long, yet if you want to craft your gear by yourself you must do so. You can't grind dungeons for long, yet if you want the gear rewards you must do so. You can't grind DE's for long, yet if you want the karma gear you must do so. The game is bascially telling you: "Hey, you want to progress? Sure, just do this dungeon 80 times. But oh, wait, don't." Right now, if you hit 80 and want a max stat gear set, you must do either:
- Make 40-60 gold and buy it. This is a huge gold grind, coupled with teleportation / repair costs.
- Run a dungeon 80 times. Sure, dungeons are fun the first 4-5 times or so. But when you realize you need at least 8 runs for ONE piece of gear, the whole thing goes from "Hmm, this is fun." to "PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!".
- Do about 720 DEs. Yes, 720*320 ~= 250,000 karma that you need.
BUT WAIT, you want to gear yourself according to Precision/Power/Crit to maximize your specific Thief build? Then no, I don't care how much you like DEs, you have to farm gold or dungeons. Oh, what's that, you want to try a Condition damage build now with that Thief of yours? Sure, just grind for ANOTHER gear set again! The current endgame in GW2 is a bigger grind than raiding two times a week ever was. The concept that "you don't need to grind" is nullified by the fact that you DO become more powerful with gear. Then factor in alts, or...if you're brave...legendaries (which, for example, require 2,000,000 karma besides other things). It's a grim outlook indeed. But, ahhh, here's the catch:
You can take a level 1 character all the way to 80 and get full exotics for the low price of $200.00. That's right, you can skip all the game's leveling content, and get a max stat gear set for real money! What a deal! If that's not pay to win, I don't know what is. I really like GW2's leveling, but it's endgame feels to be in the stone ages more so than a next gen MMO.